Moja by Moja


Songs on the CD:

  • 1. Mr
  • 2. hello
  • 3. 12
  • 4. weny weny
  • 5. obake
  • 6. GUM
  • 7. highspeed
  • 8. roller coaster

To consider that this is Moja’s debut album is to realise just how clearly they see their vision of the music they make. They even have their own signature ‘moves’, if you will, that makes them highly distinguishable. They’re a bass and drums duo, but like the best of their kind, they never let you miss everything else that can be added to music. Moja is an album maintaining a very frenetic tempo throughout, to the point of being paranoid (and inducing some, no doubt). Most songs seem to be chasing something through the mean streets of some crime-ridden city. When you’re running, you’re going full-pelt with a massive stitch in your side. The times when you’re walking, you’re still reeling with fear and tense anticipation, culminating into a crescendo of the kind of paranoia that makes people expect violence of the throat-slashing type round every street corner (and perhaps check their toilet for bombs, like a certain Mr. H. Simpson).

They’re also very brave, in that there’s a studied, dada-esque neglect of the vocals. They’re there, but more as embellishment rather than forming the content of the song. The distortion and feedback abound, but this is by design to create a jarring, barren yet gruesomely captivating soundscape, that’s firing on all cylinders at most times. They need to guard against becoming a one-trick pony, though, ‘cause the songs tend to resemble each other in portions. But, that can be worked upon, and really doesn’t affect the album. The songs are clearly tailored to their live performance – there’s a lot of ACTION in the songs, doubtlessly perpetuating the kind of regimented chaos that is them on stage [for more on this, check out the interview we have with Moja]. You can hear a lot of Nirvana in their sound, and even the industrial murkiness that Killing Joke waded in, with the sparseness of a White Zombie tune. This is seen most prominently in Mr, 12 and obake. Every song has a wiiiiinding bassline that leads it, with the crashing drums biting at its heels. There’s some Phish-ey crunching to to undercut all that pandemonium.

mojasleeve.JPGMany of the songs are quite dancey as well, and (based on my limited knowledge of them) would probably work perfectly in clubs. GUM comes as a marked surprise, with its slower pace, and distinctly more death metal style, complete with the change of pace, even. Speed up their songs, and you’d probably get some good grindcore. Highspeed (an appropriate epithet) underscores the Perry Farrell influenced vocals, and the tune is befittingly Navarro-esque. In particular, it sounds like an homage to the style that Flea adopted during the Peppers’ One Hot Minute era. roller coaster is probably their most complete song, with all their signatures and influences in harmony. By the time it ends, you’re kinda out of breath. All I can say is, that if the music seems to be hunting something, I hope the prey continues to elude them for a long time.

— Shashwati Kala

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